Can You Ask For Extra Amenity Kits In Business Class?

Reader Dan asked the following question on the “Ask Lucky” page of the blog:

Lucky, do you have any tips on getting an extra amenity kit (in business on an Asian airline)? I’m flying JAL from SFO next month and want to keep a couple extra for some friends.

As an amenity kit collector of sorts, this is an area that I feel I have a bit of experience in. 😉

Emirates-A380-First-Class-020

There are a few ways to go about this, in general:

It can’t hurt to (politely) ask

The most obvious way to get extra amenity kits is to just politely ask. “I really love your amenity kits, and would love to give one to my brother/mother/dog/former roommate’s cousin. Is there any chance I could have another, if you happen to have extras?”

On some airlines they’re more than happy to give you extras (often multiples, while on others it’s tougher). As a general rule of thumb:

  • You’re more likely to get extras in business class than first class (since there are more likely to be extras and they’re less likely to be closely accounted for)
  • I’d suggest asking during boarding but while the crew doesn’t look busy, since typically they have all the amenity kits out in the galley area during that time, so it’s easiest for them to grab another one then

This really is extremely crew and airline dependent, and as long as you ask in a non-pressuring way, there’s no downside. My experiences have varied from having a crew member give me an entire bag of amenity kits, to being told that if any kits aren’t accounted for the crew would get in trouble.

ANA-Rimowa

Grab those left behind during deplaning

Okay, confession time. When I’m flying business class I sometimes intentionally choose a seat at the very back of the cabin. Why? Because during deplaning it often allows me to walk through the entire cabin. I’ll always have a plastic duty free bag on me, and if I noticed any other passengers left amenity kits behind, I’ll subtly stuff them in my bag.

I did this on an EVA Air flight once, and got about five Rimowa kits that way. When you think about it, you’re really just doing the cleaning crews a favor when you do that.

Rimowa-Amenity-Kit

Some airlines put out all amenity kits during boarding

One last method. I find that some airlines put an amenity kit at every seat during boarding, regardless of whether or not it’s occupied. Then before takeoff they’ll simply collect the ones at empty seats that are still there. In the past I’ve grabbed one or two when I noticed the seats would be unoccupied after asking crew members, and they were fine with it.

Delta-Tumi

Bottom line

While the policies vary by airline and it all comes down to the crew member, it can’t ever hurt to ask nicely. In a vast majority of cases they’ll be happy to oblige if you’d like an extra kit. And if they say they’re not allowed to give out extras, just keep an eye on other seats as you deplane, to see who left their kit behind.

The one caveat I’d add is to not get greedy. I think it’s one thing to ask for an extra amenity kit, but I think asking for multiple extra kits is pushing it.

What has been your experience asking for extra amenity kits on airlines?

Comments

  1. I did just that on a flight last week! United business first from ewr to tlv.
    towards the end of the flight i asked the fa if she had any extra amenity kits, since i wanted to give one to my wife. She said she would check and returned later with one.
    conclusion : asking nicely never hurts!

  2. Flew FC Lufthansa from FRA-HOU. Only 5 of the seats were occupied. At the end of the flight, my wife and I politely asked for an extra kit each. The very kind FA handed over two kits without blinking. Said it wasn’t an issue at all.

  3. Didn’t you write a post just recently when you said you can’t ask for things?

    OMAAT 2/16/15: “When observing how others travel, I can’t help but notice something consistently that I can’t bring myself to do. There’s a common phrase that “it can’t hurt to ask.””

  4. personally i find asking for extra a bit tacky. no problem with scavenging after other pax have de-planed though. and i often ask for a female kit for my gf instead of a male one for me, because she actually uses the lotions and lip balms and all that stuff — and how many toothbrushes and eyeshades does one really need?

  5. UA LAX-MEL said they have to account for each one so no extras available in Business even though there were empty seats.

  6. Hi Lucky,

    I’ve felt too embarrassed to tell you, but actually, I am your former roommate’s cousin’s gardener. Well, I realise, I therefore fall (JUST) out of scope but if you don’t mind, I would really love a Singapore Airlines Suites Class amenity kit. Too be honest, since your trip report detailing the 100,000 miles from New York to Sydney and another 100,000 miles from Sydney to Los Angeles, it has been my dream to some day do such an aspirational trip.

    At the moment, I allocate 7.25% of my income from each garden and 5.625 % of each pool I maintain to a special fund. I use this fund to stay at Starwood properties when I have to travel out of town when I get jobs for your former roommate’s ex-girlfriends’ parents. So I am slowly building up my SPG points and have even attained SPG Gold. If I keep going for another 32 years, I will finally have accumulated enough SPG points to convert into Krisflyer miles to be able to take such an aspirational trip.

    Eventhough I’m just out of scope, it would mean a great deal to me if maybe you could ask for an extra Suites Class amenity kit. It would get a prime spot on my medicine cabinet and it will inspire me to reach for my dreams for the next 32 years. I believe seeing such an amenity kit each morning will give me loads of energy for the long day of gardening ahead.

    Respectfully,
    The Flying Gardener.

  7. When I asked last month a FA during our PTY-JFK flight with Copa I was told that since it was less than 6-hour flight they did not offer any amenity kits. To my biggest surprise, he gave me one all of a sudden without asking any other questions 🙂

  8. Two other methods that I discovered in an honest way, but could definitely be construed as white lies if you do it intentionally:
    1. On one flight my kit was missing ear plugs. I told the FA and asked if they had anymore and he just have me a whole additional kit.
    2. One time I “lost” my amenity kit. It was put in the overhead bin before takeoff and a couple hours later when I went to sleep, the whole cabin was dark and I couldn’t find it in the bin. I considered the possibility that someone else mistakenly took mine. Rather than trying to empty the bin, I told the FA I couldn’t find mine and they gave me another. I found the original after landing. It was under somebody else’s bag.
    Both of these were legitimate honest requests, but I’m sure they would work if you were just trying to get an extra one.

  9. Which airlines normally say no? I flew EK F once where I asked to replace my amenity kit for a female one but she instead handed me a female kit from business class. I knew it was J since I’ve flown EK a lot and kindly asked her again for a female First class amenity kit and she told me they didn’t have any (and handed me back my EK First male amenity kit.) I thought that was sly of her not to tell me the female amenity kit she was giving me was from J.

  10. I asked the FA in Qantas J for an extra Kate Spade one because the case looked nicer than the Jack Spade kit. He happily gave me an extra.

  11. I’ve only asked once, when my ANA F Rimowa kit (just like above) became airborne during takeoff. It flew off the little ledge in front of the video monitor and slid down the aisle into the J section. I turned in time to see an anonymous arm swoop it up. The FA brought me a new one after we leveled off. Someone in J got a souvenir and a good story.

  12. last time i flew Qantas i didn’t even have to ask… i got male amenity kit and pjs after boarding. then a few hours into the flight they proactively brought me ladies kit and pjs and i told her i was glad because i could give it to my mom. after she heard that she brought me biz class kit… she said so i can check it out.

  13. Very true about EVA Air. Many passengers left their RIMOWA kits behind. But sadly as I was just about to grab one from the seat behind me, some idiot from Economy Class beat me to it. Isn’t it forbidden for Economy passengers to take kits from Business Class?

  14. @ Lucky – Which is your top10 amenity kit list? From 01 to 10, ANA, Thai, Lufthansa, EVA (all rimowas) than Emirates, Singapore, Qatar, JAL, Asiana and Etihad?

  15. Don’t be greedy? Whatever would make you think that your readers (myself included) would attempt to game this?

  16. I love this post! I’ve had the good fortune of traveling F since I was very young and used to use the amenity kit those days especially MH F and SQ F as pencil case in school. I remember MH used to have a complete set (12 bottles?) of aromatherapy kit inside its F amenity kit those days.

    These days when traveling SQ F (mostly Suites), often the crew would volunteer extra pajamas and amenity kits especially when a flight is maybe half full? If I did ask for one, the purser would normally come with a bag load of pajamas and amenity kits asking which is my preferred size and gender. Simply love this whole going the extra mile! One thing odd SQ doesn’t distribute amenity kit for its J passenger though (even scaled down version).

  17. I collect the kits to give to my nieces. I always ask during a quiet moment just after boarding, never refused two kits, one for each niece! Worked on ua, sa, ana, nz, dl, aeroflot and klm.

  18. Last time I flew FRA-YYZ in LH F, I was offered two amenity kits when they were handed out. The FA had two different colors when she handed them out and asked me “Do you want this color, or this? Or would you like both maybe?” Being a duck-and-amenity-kit-collector I said yes please thank you.

  19. On cx first I’ve asked for smaller pajamas for my daughters instead of the ones they hand me, twice they asked how many did I want, and got 2 sets in the smaller size

  20. Subtly sweep the entire cabin with a plastic duty free bag ?!?! Really ?!
    Doing the cleaning crew a favor ?!
    Why not shove some pillows, earphones, and blankets in there while you’re at it.
    For someone who travels and stays in some undoubtedly spectacular cabins and suites, you certainly lack any sense of refinement.
    Were you rationing your five Rimowa kits ? A German thing perhaps ?

  21. my GF is a 3 cabin CP for ANA and she dont care. she will give away those rimowa’s if you sitting in the first cabin. she said the general rule of thumb with NH is if it is a full revenue F, then give them extras if they ask. if it was using miles or UG’d, they give them the “we are held accountable for missing amenity kits” speech. which could explain why we give away christmas presents wrapped in the mini rimowa.

  22. What do you guys do with the kits, at the end of the flight, its just used stuff in a $1 bag or Box, how many blindfolds, extra earplugs, hand sanitizer, etc., does one need. Do you guys wear the PJ’s when you get home, where do you put the bags, and do you really look at them periodically to see how many you have.
    I just leave them, particularly when I outbound, I certainly don’t want to carry another item around in my luggage. What am I missing?

  23. @ michael — Personally I give them away. I do wear some pajamas on the ground and find some kits (in moderation) useful for storing cords, etc.

  24. @ Zachary — I don’t think pillows, blankets, etc., are supposed to be removed from the plane, as they’re reused. I don’t believe the same is true of amenity kits. Though please correct me if I’m wrong.

  25. @ Carlos — That’s a toughie. Good idea for a future post. Aside from Rimowa ones, I don’t really get too excited over kits nowadays, to be honest.

  26. @ Jonas — Hah, on the way out? If so, I tend to think it’s fair game once everyone is deplaning. At least I doubt anyone is going to stop them.

  27. Anyone had experience with extra JAL F amenity kits? next week is my first flight in JAL F. Would like to have extra 2 kits (one male and one female) if possible.

  28. @David

    JAL kits are unisex, only the skincare differs by gender. they give out two kinds of kits depending whether you’re flying to or from Japan.

    I flew JAL F in January and when i asked for an extra kit i was told flat out no. not even an apology or explanation. but you may have better crew.

  29. I thought I read somewhere JL was the airline that gave a 2nd kit when F passengers are about to disembark?

    Is that why they do not give extras on top of the 2nd kit?

  30. So when there are free leftover Rimowa amenity kits available, your Germaphobe side doesn’t play a part any more?

  31. I’ve had my heart set on a Rimowa kit since I saw a post about them recently. I’m sure most people would think they are stupid, but I really like the look of them and others have I’ve shown the photos to.

    My question, is it suggested to tip for them? If so does one tip before or after receiving?
    I would like to get a couple as gifts. Never flown first or business class (yet)

  32. @ Lantean,

    Ouch, that’s a bummer that they refused your request, they should at least say an apology since you are F class guest! I can speak japanese since I studied it before, so maybe their attitude will be more polite if I speak to them in japanese rather than english? hmmm…I wonder…

    As you said, since it’s only the skincare that differ the male and female’s amenity kits, so I can ask specifically for male of female one, right? if I prefer male skincare inside the amenity kits.
    I don’t get what did you mean by depending on my flight to or from Japan…..my flight would be SFO-HND and then inbound NRT- SFO.

  33. @David,

    Lantean means that depending on whether you are flying to/from Japan, the JAL amenity bag itself (not the contents) would be different. They have different styles of amenity bags for inbound and outbound flights.

  34. On BA when traveling with my 11 yo niece in CW from JFK, they ran out of ladies toiletry kits and gave us men’s kits. It was a full flight. She is 11 and didn’t get the kids pack (as she did on the flight home), she instead got a razor and items she didn’t need, I left that kit behind (hopefully someone else picked it up). They don’t always have extras and in our case didn’t have enough for the actual passengers. It was a disappointing experience.

  35. @JDH,

    IME Virgin Australia readily gives extras. They have male and female versions and probably have lots of extra for that reason.

  36. @ Charlotte

    Thanks! How did you like JAL amenity kits and how was the service? Can I request all the main course dishes after finished one? I want to take advantage of this one in a lifetime experience!

  37. Sweeping the cabin with a plastic bag for extra amenity kits is the height of tackiness. Even more tacky than the Emirates first cabin bling you constantly highlight.

  38. Man, alot of nasty comments here. Lucky, can I ask, what do you do with all the extra kits? Do you sell them?

  39. I suggest to ask immediately after boarding, as sometimes cabin crew say that they leave the Amenit Kit back to the office before leave the airport (but most of times the still have on board).
    But is Always depend from the cabin crew. Usually in the first class you can find in the toilets all is inside the amenity kit, so you are free to take it.
    If you want you can have a look on my website esclusivia.com where i collect all the best amenity kits of first and business class, in this way you can choose your favourite 🙂

  40. Hi Lucky!

    Sorry to dig up an old post, but is there a list somewhere that lists how long a flight must be in order to get an amenity kit in business/first? Just curious and trying to figure out if I’ll get one on some of my upcoming flights. Is this rule across the board or it varies by airline? Thanks!

  41. @ Ang — Unfortunately there isn’t, since there are more factors than that. Sometimes it’s dependent on the aircraft type, time of day, etc.

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